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Friday, June 3, 2011

Hard Day

Yesterday was a tough emotional day for myself but especially for so many other people I care deeply about. June 2nd is a day I'll never forget as it's the day baby Tripp went to Heaven. I have known Rachael a long time but never got the chance to meet Tripp. Even though I never met him, his short life has forever altered mine. I will never forget logging onto Facebook before going to bed that night last year and seeing the first item on my newsfeed list. It was Rachael's status and it asked for prayers for her little family as Tripp went home to be with Jesus. I've never felt so much hurt and pain for someone else my entire life. I cried harder than I thought possible. I am in serious awe of Greg and Rachael and do not know how they make it through each day, they are so strong beyond any strength I can imagine.

I'm so thankful for the life Tripp lived and the joy he brought into the lives of his family. I'm thankful, too, for the ways Tripp has changed my own corner of the world. My priorities are different...I have a better grip on what really matters. His death helped me to feel more comfortable with the idea of Heaven and the concept of leaving this world. It helped me to count my blessings and be thankful for the time I have with those I love. It put in perspective any hardships I may face.

We all have our own little ways of honoring those who have passed on before us. With Nana, my grandmother, I love wearing her old clothes and having her things as decor around our home. I also have some not-so-obvious reminders of her that are special to me. She knew that her life was coming to an end and I went and bought her a card during that time. It was one of those cards that said just the right thing (if there is a "right thing" to say when someone is dying?) and I planned to fill it with words of love and encouragement. I planned to tell her all the things I wanted her to know before she passed away. How do you write a card like that? I thought about it over and over in my mind but I couldn't ever put those words into writing. I never sent the card. It still sits in my pile of "cards to send." As I go through that stack to send off a birthday card, or graduation card, etc I always stop and re-read that card. It will always stay in that stack and be a reminder to me of Nana and the relationship we shared. It doesn't make me sad and I don't regret not sending it - she KNEW how much I adored her and loved her and I'm content with that. I just enjoy having the reminder :)

As I said, I never met Tripp. However, I remember fondly seeing pictures of him wearing this adorable Gap onesie that Kye had in his wardrobe at the time (you can see pictures of Kye wearing it here). I remember telling Rachael that he and Kye were twins and when he passed I thought of him each time Kye wore it. Once Kye out-grew it I simply couldn't bring myself to pack it away. It still sits in Kye's closet and each time I look at it I say a little prayer for Rachael and Greg. I thank God for my blessings and I appreciate having that little daily reminder to never take a single moment for granted. I'm so excited that Rachael is pregnant again and KNOW that this year will be filled with much more laughter than sadness and many more joys than tears. I hope each of you continues to pray for this sweet family and that though our prayers God will continue to cover them in His love and give them the strength they need as they welcome a new baby into their home.

While thinking on Tripp, it was ironic to me that I spent a good portion of my day at a funeral. My long-time friend Katie recently lost her grandmother to brain cancer. It's been tough for the family to watch such a strong woman slowly get ready to meet the Lord, but hearing her service was so inspiring. From the moment she was diagnosed with the cancer Mrs. Hitchcock always said she was fine and doing wonderful and that she was so blessed as so, so many people had it so much worse than she did. How many people have that kind of outlook when life is at its toughest??? On my way to Madison, FL for the services the song "Live Like You Were Dying" came on my I-Pod (yes, a few country songs make the cut!) and it's such an appropriate song for the way Mrs. Hitchcock ended her days on Earth. She used her time to bless others and to give her family such wonderful memories of her. The phrase "a life well lived" was used many times during the service and it's something I hope could also be put on my grave one day. I hope I can truly live and appreciate life the way she did and have such an unwavering faith in God and in my eternal home.

Uncle Spear, Tripp, and others. Sometimes life gets so busy that we tend to only look at what we have to do, where we have to go, and what we're trying to accomplish. It's a blessing to get reminded that this life is short and that we must be prepared for judgment at ALL times.

Another ironic thing about yesterday is that a day shy of the one year anniversary since Rachael's sad, sad Facebook status another one of my favorite friends had a similar status on her Facebook. Robyn and I have been excited to share our pregnancies together. We met after Kye and Lorelai were born and love that they are only a month apart in age. This time around I was due a month before she was so we'd have two babies close in age again and we'd get to experience being pregnant together. Lately, she and Matt have been asking for prayers for their unborn baby (you can read more about that on her blog, here) and they found out on Wednesday that the baby no longer had a heartbeat. It had gone on to Heaven to be with Jesus. I respect their privacy during this difficult time and I'm sure, when she's ready, Robyn will cover the details in her own blog (which she did! You can read it here). I will say that when I got her text my heart just broke for them and what they are going through. I wish I could do something to make it easier and to make their pain go away.

I've been so blessed with my pregnancies and I cannot fathom that feeling of loss that they are experiencing. Yesterday was the day of her procedure and my mind couldn't stop thinking about her and Matt and the sadness they are feeling. She has been another great example to me on strength as when they first heard something could be wrong she didn't just ask others to pray for the baby to be okay, she also asked us to pray that if it's not meant to be that God would go ahead and take their baby home. It was hard each time I said that prayer, but I respect those wishes and think it's such a mature way to look at the situation. I'm thankful that they have Lorelai to keep them smiling through this and know that the Lord will bless them with another, healthy, pregnancy soon. I know it's dumb but part of me also feels guilt about being pregnant and that I'll still be writing weekly updates and such while she's going through this pain. Situations like this always make me feel scared...like I'm too blessed and I sit wondering when my bad thing is going to happen? All I can do is thank God for the blessings in my life and pray that if I am ever faced with such hardships that I will handle them with the faith, strength and grace as the friends before me have done.

I shed a lot of tears yesterday for all of my friends, their families, and those in Heaven. I tried to find the good in each situation (Rachael is pregnant again! Katie's grandmother lived a long, full life! Robyn and Matt will have another baby soon!) but it was still an overwhelming day of sadness. I'm so thankful that Mrs. Charlotte was able to keep Kye so I could be there for my friends during their times of need and I'm thankful that I got a little time for me too. The car ride to Madison was SO great. I've always enjoyed driving by myself places, singing along to my favorite songs, and letting my mind wander wherever it wants to go.

The day was filled with some fun moments too. When I left the burial site after the funeral I planned to go be with the family at the house and heard a man tell several people "see you at the house" so I hopped in my car and followed him, assuming they'd be going to "the house." Imagine my surprise when I realize I'm the only car following him and we were going down many back roads. I knew I was following him to his house but at that point what other option did I have? When I pulled up behind them in their driveway I asked for directions and his wife invited me in while they changed clothes then told me I could follow them there. How hilarious is that?!?! I chillled on their couch and visited with her while her husband finished changing! That would so only happen to me! Also, since the funeral was in Florida, I stopped by the Lake Park outlets. Um..SO glad I did. Gap has a huge sale and had almost the whole store on clearance with an additional 40% off plus I had a coupon good for an additional 15% off...I ended up getting 30 items for $116 and saved $148 (and that's based off the sale prices, not even the original prices in savings!). Pretty awesome huh? I stocked up on cute clothes for Kye and several Christmas presents! If anyone else needs some retail therapy I totally want to go back Monday morning :)

Please continue to pray for the Copponex family, the Hitchcock family, and the Mullican family. I know they all put their complete trust in God and His will for their lives and I'm so blessed to have all of them in my life. They help me grow spiritually and are always there when I need them. I only hope that I can help them during their times of need and that they know how much I love them! Here's hoping for a MUCH better day today for everyone!!!

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